Traveling to a new country can be exciting, yet daunting if you are bothered by local scams and culture differences. To get the most out of your trip, scroll to see our comprehensive list below to learn more about what to avoid in Vietnam.
What to Avoid in Vietnam: Scam
Vietnam is just like anywhere else in the world, there’s always a minority of locals trying to find false ways to get into your pockets. Here we have listed some of the most common scams in Vietnam and tips you should know about to avoid them.
Vinasun (white cabs) and Mai Linh (green cabs) are the most prominent taxi brands in Vietnam. To take advantage of their reputation, various small companies imitate their names and theme colors, making you think that you are using the right one. So, be sure to check the taxi names carefully.
Knowing that you are not familiar with local routes, drivers may go in circular ways and make complicated directions. Consequently, you will have to pay a higher fare and lose time to reach the destination.
It can be hard to navigate in Ho Chi Minh City
Since foreigners are not used to Vietnamese cash, drivers may pretend you’re giving the money with a smaller denomination and therefore, give you a smaller change. For example, the VND 500,000 note and the VND 20,000 note are both blue, they are usually switched.
Check the denomination carefully before paying
Vietnamese street carts, conical hats or handicrafts are so captivating. But be careful when you are invited to take pictures with them. Street vendors might ask you to tip or even worse, force you to buy those goods at an exorbitant price. If you refuse to pay, underground violence is just a stone’s throw away.
Try to avoid street vendors offering you items
Though you may have no demand, some shoe shiners just grab your shoes, polish them and charge at an expensive cost. Others might not act as fiercely but they might double-charge the offered price.
While wandering around, you can easily encounter disabled people and orphans asking for money. Pitiful as they seem, don’t give them anything as they are likely to be members of a begging system. These systems are led by heartless people and sadly, they are the ones who actually receive your money.
If you really want to help, there are ways to support local communities when visiting Vietnam
Many stalls display accessories or cosmetics from Chanel, Versace, Clinique, NYX and so on. No matter what the vendors say, there is no chance that they are real products. With local goods like authentic silk, antique, or pearls, it is even harder to inspect. Thus, you should only choose famous or creditable shops.
Go to shopping malls or trust-worthy stores for high-quality items
What to Avoid in Vietnam: Political Discussion
You can freely share your views about the country’s landscape, cuisine or local life. But criticizing the regime and government’s policies are among the most sensitive things to do in Vietnam. To avoid any unwanted consequences, it is recommended to bypass political discussions while you are here.
For a fun trip, avoid discussing politics in Vietnam
What to Avoid in Vietnam: Cultural Issues
There are certain Vietnamese etiquettes that you should know before visiting the country. To illustrate, when visiting religious places, you are supposed to wear clothes covering your shoulders, chest, and knees. Also, try to avoid physical touch in public places.
Remember to ask before taking pictures with locals
What to Avoid in Vietnam: Food Poisoning
Though street food can satisfy your taste bud, always set safety and hygiene as your first priority. Ingredients from unknown sources will pose threats to your well-being. Therefore, it is advisable to seek local guidance to ensure a safe journey.
Choose your street-food vendors carefully
Go with a local to find the best meals
How to Travel Safer in Vietnam
- Sign up with a trustworthy travel insurance plan:
- Do your research: Before visiting Vietnam or any other country, be sure to learn about the culture, as well as the common tourist traps.
- Shop at trust-worthy vendors: Always check the review of the stores before deciding to shop there. This may help you dodge unwanted problems.
- Join a private tour: This a great option for those who want to explore Vietnam’s hidden gems. You will travel with a personal guide to get a hands-on local experience.
Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
Read on about 8 common scams and annoyances in Vietnam.
Takeaways on What to Avoid in Vietnam
As you may already know, foreign visitors are potentials targets of scammers and con artists, so make sure you know what to avoid beforehand. Besides, your normal topics might be taboos in Vietnamese culture. If you seek a safe yet interesting local experience, check out our offered tours in Ho Chi Minh City!